The Malta Independent 3 December 2021, Friday

Minimum vote quota for parties to reach parliament among Repubblika’s proposed reforms to Parliament

Wednesday, 13 January 2021, 15:04 Last update: about 12 months ago

A minimum vote quota for political parties to automatically reach parliament is one of Repubblika’s proposed reforms for Parliament.

This would see seat allocated to political parties in proportion with the amount of first-count votes they receive nationwide.  Likewise, it would ensure that any political party which acquires 5% of the nationwide vote makes it into parliament, irrespective of whether they do not manage to elect any candidates from a single constituency.

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Repubbika handed their proposed reform document Parliament Speaker Anglu Farrugia on Wednesday, highlighting changes which have to be done in order for parliament to move on with the times.

President of Repubblika Robert Aquilina stated that this year, the Maltese parliament will be celebrating 100 years of existence. Although parliament nowadays has changed visually, the same outdated practices are still being used to this day, he said. Aquilina went on to say that these practices do not reflect the democracy we find ourselves in currently.

The flaws in parliament as Aquilina put it, are being abused by the government and they make the role of parliament redundant. Aquilina said that the role of parliament is to observe and serve as a counter balancing measure to the government. This task is unachievable, he said, as the government has taken over this sacred institution.

“These changes have been promised from 2013 and they are desperately needed in order to solidify the role of parliament” Aquilina said.

Repubblika brought up the example of the recent situation of former Member of Parliament, Joseph Muscat. “Instead of taking action as the law dictates, Speaker Anglu Farrugia let the case go” Aquilina remarked.

Cases like this have been going on ever since the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, he said. As a consequence of the defects in the design of the way parliament works, no action was taken against members of parliament who may have committed illegalities.

Repubblika then said that although no form of constitution which is perfect, they are open to more ideas on how things can change for the better. At the end of the day, the proposals which they are putting forward follow the models of other countries within the European Union, they said.

Repubblika named a few changes such as the separation of roles of certain Ministries in order for the roles to better be scrutinised by parliament. Other proposals include the President of the republic being elected by the people, and the eventual closure of party television stations – although this depends on significant reforms at the Public Broadcasting Service.

Concluding, Repubblika said that the document should be discussed with immediate effect and that 100 more years do not need to pass for actual changes to be made.

The full reform document can be read here.

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